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National Drinking Water Database

Selenium (total) in Massachusetts

Selenium is a naturally occurring element that contaminates water due to mining or petrolum refining, fly-ash from coal-burning power plants, and irrigation of arid farmland soils high in selenium. [read more]

The Most Polluted Communities in Massachusetts

21 water utilities reported detecting Selenium (total) in tap water since 2004, according to EWG's analysis of water quality data supplied by state water agencies

Ranked by highest average Selenium (total) level

RankSystem Population Served Positive test results of total reported tests Average Level
1Campion Residence & Renewal Ctr
Weston, MA
4251 of 13 ppb
(3 ppb)
2Stockbridge Water Dept
Stockbridge, MA
2,8001 of 12.3 ppb
(2.3 ppb)
3Ashland Water & Sewer Dept.
Ashland, MA
15,3051 of 12 ppb
(2 ppb)
4Deerfield Fire District
Deerfield, MA
1,3001 of 12 ppb
(2 ppb)
5South Hadley Fire District #2
South Hadley, MA
6,2001 of 11.49 ppb
(1.49 ppb)
6Cambridge Water Department
Cambridge, MA
101,3551 of 61.33 ppb
(0 to 8 ppb)
7Littleton Lyne Apartments
Ayer, MA
2001 of 21 ppb
(0 to 2 ppb)
8Northfield MT Hermon School
Gill, MA
8001 of 21 ppb
(0 to 2 ppb)
9Burlington Water Dept
Burlington, MA
23,3014 of 110.82 ppb
(0 to 3 ppb)
10Eagle Tor Trust
Topsfield, MA
381 of 30.67 ppb
(0 to 2 ppb)

Health Based Limits for Selenium (total)

Maximum Contaminant Limit (MCL)The enforceable standard which defines the highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to health-based limits (Maximum Contaminant Level Goals, or MCLGs) as feasible using the best available analytical and treatment technologies and taking cost into consideration. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.50 ppb
Maximum Contaminant Limit Goal (MCLG)A non-enforceable health goal that is set at a level at which no known or anticipated adverse effect on the health of persons occurs and which allows an adequate margin of safety. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.50 ppb
Lifetime health-based limit, non-cancer riskConcentration of a chemical in drinking water that is not expected to cause any adverse, noncarcinogenic health effects for a lifetime of exposure. The Lifetime health-based limit (or Health Advisory, HA) is based on exposure for a a 70-kg adult consuming 2 liters of water per day. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.50 ppb
EPA Human Health Water Quality CriteriaWater quality criteria set by the US EPA provide guidance for states and tribes authorized to establish water quality standards under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to protect human health. These are non-enforceable standards based upon exposure by both drinking water and the contribution of water contamination to other consumed foods. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.170 ppb
Drinking Water Equivalent LevelA lifetime exposure concentration protective of adverse, noncarcinogenic health effects, that assumes all of the exposure to a contaminant is from drinking water. Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.200 ppb

Violation Summary for Selenium (total) in Massachusetts

Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes the following violations of federal standards in Massachusetts since 2004

Violation TypeNumber of Violations
Failure to monitor regularly20